In an ironic twist of statistical interpretation, a case can be made that 2001 turned out to be the safest year for flying since the end of World War II. According to the Aviation Safety Network, a Netherlands-based global database, 2001 saw fewer major airplane accidents worldwide-34-than any year since 1945, when such statistics first were gathered. According to the ASN, the September 11 attacks that involved four U.S. commercial airliners are not counted as accidents, but as purposeful ...

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